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The Honourable
 Dean Oliver Barrow


Incumbent
Assumed office 
8 February 2008
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Colville Young
Deputy Gaspar Vega
Preceded by Said Musa
Constituency Queen's Square

Born 2 March 1951 (1951-03-02) (age 59)
Political party United Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Kim Simpliss (second marriage)
Profession Lawyer

Dean Oliver Barrow (born March 2, 1951) is a Belizean politician and the Prime Minister of Belize. He is also the leader of the United Democratic Party. An attorney by trade, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1998 and was then Leader of the Opposition until the UDP won the February 2008 election. Following his party's victory in the 2008 election, he became Prime Minister.

Contents

Family

Barrow has four children. The oldest is rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, born November 8, 1978.[1] (Shyne was born out of wedlock; his mother is the sister of Barrow's longest political colleague, the Hon. Michael Finnegan). His second son Anwar runs a small-scale lending institution. His daughter Deanne practices law out of her mother's [Barrow's first wife Lois Young] firm.

Barrow married for a second time February 7, 2009 (exactly one year after winning the elections that made him Prime Minister) in Savannah, Georgia to his long-time girlfriend Kim Simplis.[2] They have one daughter, Salima.

Education

Barrow attended St. Michael's College in Belize and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados (LL.B. 1973); Norman Manley Law School, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica (Certificate of Legal Education, 1975); University of Miami School of Law (L.M., 1981); University of Miami (M.A. International Relations).

Legal career

Barrow, a senior counsel (the local equivalent of the British 'QC'), is also considered one of Belize's successful attorneys and has appeared in several high profile cases. He began his legal work in the law firm of uncle Dean Lindo in 1973 and became a partner in 1977. He would eventually leave to form his own law firm. He is currently silent senior partner in the local law firm Barrow and Williams (with Rodwell Williams), and has appears in court to argue high-profile cases. Among his firm's more controversial clients is Lord Ashcroft and the businesses he is connected with, particularly the Belize Bank and at one time, Belize Telemedia Limited, formerly Belize Telecommunications Limited.

Political career

In 1983 Barrow entered electoral politics as a candidate for Belize City Council elections in December 1983, which he won as part of a nine-man slate. He then participated in general elections of December 1984 as a candidate for the Queen's Square electoral division against, ironically, former fellow MP Ralph Fonseca. Barrow defeated Fonseca handily and was nominated to Cabinet as Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In the 1989 general election, Barrow defeated Thomas Greenwood but his party lost the election. Barrow continued in his law practice. In 1990, he became Deputy Party Leader to Manuel Esquivel after the death of the Hon. Curl Thompson. In 1993, Barrow won his third straight general election, over Juliet Soberanis, and returned to Cabinet in the posts he held from the previous administration in addition to Minister of National Security. His detractors called him "Minister of Everything" during this period because he appeared at most major functions on behalf of the UDP government.

After the 1998 elections loss in which he was one of only three representatives who retained a seat for the UDP, Barrow was elevated to Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition, replacing Manuel Esquivel in both positions. Barrow has presided over the smallest Oppositions (3 and 7 respectively) in the House of Representatives since 1974 and ever in the UDP's history. Barrow has won his last two elections by closer margins than his previous elections over attorney Richard "Dickie" Bradley.

Barrow was re-elected for the sixth time in 2008 against the PUP's Anthony Sylvester and Ebony Babb of the NRTCP.

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Prime Minister

The UDP won a massive victory, with 25 out of 31 seats, in the general election held on February 7, 2008, and Barrow was sworn in as Prime Minister on February 8. He is the country's first black Prime Minister.[3] He announced his Cabinet, including himself as Minister of Finance, on February 11.[4]

References

  1. ^ "Belize elects first black leader, ousts incumbent (page 2)". Catherine Bremer Reuters. February 8, 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSN0848407320080208?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  2. ^ "Belize prime minister will get married in Savannah", Associated Press (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), January 15, 2009.
  3. ^ "Belize's opposition party wins landslide in congressional elections", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), February 9, 2008.
  4. ^ "Prime Minister Dean Barrow announces new Cabinet", The San Pedro Sun, Vol. 18, No. 7, February 14, 2008.
Political offices
Preceded by
Said Musa
Prime Minister of Belize
2008–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Said Musa
Leader of the Opposition
1998 – 2008
Succeeded by
Said Musa
Preceded by
New constituency
Area Representative, Queen's Square
1984–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Manuel Esquivel
Party Leader, United Democratic Party
1998–present
Incumbent

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